PSG Trophy: Income Tax wins thriller, enters final

Defeats Indian Bank 66-64 in the semifinals.

P. Akilan (right) of Income Tax (Chennai) tries to get past Indian Bank defenders in Coimbatore on Wednesday.   -  M. Periasamy

A brilliant performance in the last quarter helped Income Tax (Chennai) defeat Indian Bank (Chennai) 66-64 in the semifinals of the 54th All-India basketball tournament for men for the PSG Trophy at the PSG Tech Indoor Sports Complex courts here on Wednesday.

The teams played a tight battle for the entire period of the contest. Income Tax had expected much from its star forward Sivabalan but he had failed to make an impact in the first three quarters. However, he came back strongly in the final 10 minutes to steer the team into the final.

Neck-and-neck battle

Indian Bank huffed and puffed against its strong opponent, which controlled the board for the most part in the first session. In a neck-and-neck battle, only one point (20-19) separated the team at the end of the first quarter. A more effective display from Indian Bank after that juncture helped the team gain a four-point lead at the lemon break.

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With both teams reaching the ring with ease, the second half witnessed an even tighter battle. Indian Bank hung on to its slender four-point lead but, with a minute to go for the final whistle, Income Tax staged turnover to go up by two points (66-64). That proved to be the right time for the team to cross the line.

The results
  • Semifinals: Income Tax (Chennai) 66 (Jeevanantham 21, Akilan 16, Sivabalan 15) bt Indian Bank (Chennai) 64 (Bala Dhaneshwar 25, Muin Bek 17, A. Surya 12).
  • On Tuesday — League
  • Vijaya Bank (Bengaluru) 61 (B. K. Anil Kumar 19, M. Harissh 16) bt Indian Army (Delhi) 52 (M. C. Karthick 18, Surinder Singh 13, Nalla Guru 10);
  • IAF (Delhi) 89 (Narendar Grewal 27, Joginder 21, Parveen Dawir 14) bt Kerala Customs 72 (Robin 23, Sonu Jaison 13, Manoj 10);
  • Income Tax (Chennai) 70 (Sivabalan 33, Jeevanandham 15, Akilan 12) bt Indian Railways 65 (Vijay 19, Ameeth Khan 19).